Cooking with leftovers - Christmas ham frittata

I did a similar recipe in December but I'm posting this one today because I want to show how I dealt with our leftover Christmas ham, and it just so happens to be another baked frittata. A frittata is like an omelette that you can cook either on the stove top in a frying pan or in a baking tray in the oven. Either way, frittata is a great addition to your cooking from scratch repertoire because they're nutritious, easy and quick to make and they're extremely versatile. Generally they're a cheap option too and they become even more frugal when you use the vegetables you need to use up that day and eggs from your backyard. Frittatas may be eaten hot or cold, I prefer a cold slice, and are a great addition to the lunchbox or when travelling on the road, if they can be kept cold of a hot day. It's easy to adjust this recipe to make a vegetarian version and we often have it with vegetables only.

You can make a nice short crust pastry to hold the frittata mix or you could use three or four sheets of frozen filo pastry but it works really well with no pastry so that is usually how I cook it. You just have to make sure you grease the baking tray well or cover it completely with baking paper.

The ham we had this year was the best ham we've had for a long time. We enjoyed it with our family for Christmas day lunch, and over the following week as a ham and egg breakfast, ham and egg sandwiches, ham, tomatoes and potato salad, ham and cheesy pasta. Gracie had a couple of ham meals and the chickens enjoyed the skin. It was well used, that ham.

But when it got down to where I could see the bone, I cut off all the ham I could and left just the bone and gristly bits. That was wrapped in a couple of freezer bags and is now in the freezer to make soup later in the year.

 Leftovers Frittata 

This is the basic recipe for all my frittatas:
  • 8 or 9 eggs, beaten (nine if you have a couple of small eggs)
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese (or cheese of your choice)
  • 250ml (one cup) cream
  • crushed garlic
  • salt and pepper
Once you have the basic "custard", you add whatever you have in the fridge that you think your family will enjoy.  It goes well with most vegetables, I always include onion and garlic and often use capsicum, peppers, chilli or zucchini. I've also used baked pumpkin, eggplant, leeks, peas, herbs and asparagus. If you want to stretch the meal or have meat eaters who aren't impressed with a frittata, add sliced cooked potato and mushrooms. They add a lot of substance to it.

Here is the step-by-step process in photos:



Add ham, red onions, green onions, salt, pepper and herbs to pan, or whatever vegetables and seasonings you want to add. Cook until the vegetables are translucent - about 10 minutes on medium heat.
Break the eggs into a large bowl, beat the eggs until the yolks and whites are mixed together, add a cup of cream and cheese and mix in. I add the garlic to the eggs too instead of to the frying pan. I think it cooks better in the eggs.

Pour the egg mix into a greased and lined baking tray, add cooked potatoes, vegetables and ham/bacon/chicken and stir gently into the eggs.

Place in the oven at around 170C and bake until the top is golden but still a bit wobbly. Over cooking eggs will make them rubbery. It's much better to slightly under-cook them because they continue cooking in the tray for a little while after you remove them from the oven.

How did you go with your Christmas leftovers?  Did you manage to use them all without wasting anything?


13 comments

  1. Hi Rhonda:

    I have been following your blog for some time now! Started with the archives and just caught up. I have just retired from my paid work and love your philosophy of living mindfully at home and enjoying the tasks that make our home run, if not smoothly, at least smoother. I used up the Christmas ham in split pea soup. One of our favourites! Of course in Saskatchewan Canada we need warming suppers right now! It's -30 with the wind chill!

    I love that you have decided to continue your blog, I love catching up with you!

    Best regards,

    Wendy

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  2. We did manage to use all our leftovers, we put the turkey legs in the freezer for another day & the ham bone went in for making soup when the weather is cool, we mostly ate toasted ham & tomato sandwiches & apart from the turkey legs, we cleaned up the turkey in a couple of days with salad or vegies. Thanks for the recipes.

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  3. We did a lovely baked/glazed ham this year and I confess I ate my way right through it! When only the bone was left, I bunged it into my dutch oven, covered it with water and boiled it for a couple of hours. I now have 2 large containers of stock in the freezer, ready for some veggie soup.

    I'll give your frittata a go, I haven't added potatoes to mine before.

    Cheers - Joolz xx

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  4. We had a very quiet Christmas here at home. We splurged on some oysters, prawns and scallops. Between us we ate everything we had purchased over Christmas and Boxing Day. I cut the pudding up and froze what we couldn't eat. The only thing that didn't get used up in time was the cream. I bought a big container when I really only needed to get a small one.
    I love Frittata. Like you we have it both hot and cold.

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  5. My mother-in-law made a ham the day after Christmas and we all ate on it for about five days while staying with them. She sent the rest of it home with us--I fed the skin/fat/gristle that we cut off our own slices and off the bone to the chickens, cut the good meat off the bone (as much as possible), and the ham bone is now in my freezer waiting to go into a crockpot of split pea soup next week.

    I tend to make a quiche more often than frittata, just because I like the pie crust with it. Last night I made quiche and made the crust out of hash brown potatoes, which was quite tasty and a nice change. The kids liked it better than my usual crust, actually, which they sometimes eat and sometimes feed to the chickens. (I don't like to waste food, and as much as I can I make sure we use as much as possible ourselves, but I am very glad to have the hens to help take care of the scraps!)

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  6. I make some kind of frittata every week, to use up odds and ends from the fridge, sometimes I will buy some ham or a chicken if I don´t have leftovers but want a bit of meat.
    Many years ago, one of my sons had a friend over after school very often, and this friend once remarked that "the same meal always tastes different here". I think the meals at home came out of a box or can.













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  7. One call do a lot with left overs. When I was growing up when there was a lot leftovers in a meal, it was called Thursday night special and even if wasn't Thursday.
    Coffee is on

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  8. As you, we had ham. I prepared it and we ate just a lovely sliced ham dinner. Then, I cut Every Single Bit off the bone to use for other meals. I have a vacuum sealer, so the meat stays nice and fresh. We will eat from the one ham nearly all year -- it was on sale at Aldi's for .39 a pound, so I bought a 13 pound one for around $5. We will use it in sandwiches, soups, sliced, chopped in omelets and frittatas, with noodles, and on and on... I love seeing how far I can stretch it and how many different ways I can do it! I always learn from you yet another way! :)

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  9. Hi Rhonda, we used the rest of our Christmas ham last week. I made ham steaks with maple apple sauce. Simple and delicious. For the last few years we have been buying a boneless ham from our local butcher. I love the convenience but I do miss having the bone to make a winter soup out of. Thanks for the recipe and have a fantastic Friday.
    Fi

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  10. You also can freeze the bone for pea and ham soup in winter

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  11. This looks delicious Rhonda. I must make this on Sunday for lunch just using what I have on hand. Have a nice weekend.

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  12. I have leftover pasta in the fridge so I think I'll use that in place of potato. This year I used one ham bone to make peas pudding which is a family favorite from British and have frozen the hock for pea and ham soup.

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  13. Thanks again for another useful post -longtime follower you are my number one site. Thank you.

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